Going to be a user in one week, last tips and advice greatly welcomed.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iEugene, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. iEugene macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #1
    Hey everyone, another new user to the boards (but by far not a new user to forums). As my first post I wanted to say something and then ask a few things.

    First of all I wanted to say that this site is incredibly convienant for anything Mac related, I've found more on this site in the past two weeks than I have anywhere else on the internet (really).

    Okay now to some questions, if anyone wouldn't mind answering them.

    Since December of 2005 I have wanted to switch to Mac for good. Mac OS X has won me over completley, I am sick of the PC and I am sick of Windows as well, I want something fresh and more productive, the Mac fit right in. (Odd of me considering I was one of those loyal PC users for years). However, due to my budget I could not switch until late April. I am getting the Intel iMac 20', the only upgrades will be the RAM (from 512mb, to 1GB), and the Graphics Memory (from 128, to 256). I was originally going to go to the Apple store here (I go there often) and purchase, however I found out that they can not do the video upgrade, that has to be direct from Apple. No big deal I thought, so the online store is where I will go.

    Now, I have to admit, with all my research and damn near "obsession" with Apple and Mac (and my iPod), that I still am a bit nervous to make a full on switch. My father and brother are computer whiz's, but they associate only with Windows and the PC. They don't mind that I'm switching, but of course if I ever have a problem, I'm completely on my own. I know a good deal enough about the PC to get me by, but sometimes I will run into problems I just will turn to them and they more than not fix the problem.

    With my switch I've been having a very sharp eye over all the pro's and con's. I am finding the pro's outweigh the con's, but some things are still bothering me. So I had a few questions.

    1) Is there anything I should honestly worry about in switching?
    2) What hardware troubles (if any) will I run into? (for example, I hear that the Intel iMac can overheat if not careful, and me living in Arizona probably doesn't help that. Or like the processor fan start blazing fast out of no where.)
    3) Are there any manuals or training guides I should read up before I buy?

    Sorry if some of these seem over paranoid of someone, or rather beginner, but hey we all start somewhere. I just want to be reassured that things will be fine. After reading some things on this site of people having hardware problems and finding it hard to find answers (meaning, the most common answer is "call apple" or "go to the store").

    Thanks in advance for any help at all.
     
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #2
     
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Good Luck with the switch.

    1) Honestly I've had no problems finding good (freeware/open source) software for the Mac (something I didn't look into before I bought), to replace Windows stuff. Look on www.versiontracker.com or www.macupdate.com

    The only think I would say about mac's is that they swallow RAM, 1GB should be fine unless your super impatient like me, I have 2GB in my iMac G5 and it sings (but I expect if i stuck 1GB in my XP machine it would have been a lot quicker too...)

    2)The fan on an iMac is *really* loud, when on full blast it's a lot louder than when I'm using it ever. But i live in the cold UK.

    The only thing I would also definitely do with your new Mac is to set the Admin password, to something non blank. And go into System Preferences --> sharing tab and switch on the firewall.
     
  4. berg macrumors member

    berg

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    #4
    Hello iEugene and Welcome to the Mac Community!

    I'm sure you will love your new Mac ...
    Most users will never have a problem with their machine. To ensure that this is your experience as well .. here is my Top Ten List towards keeping it in tip top trouble free condition ..

    1. Download and install this app ...
    Macaroni .. Just Set It and Forget It!
    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9633
    Repairs your permissions on a weekly basis ...

    2. If your computer slows down or an application won't launch keep this app on hand ...
    Cache Out X
    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9538

    3. To avoid any Sleep Problems use this Energy Saver setting ..
    System Preferences/Energy Saver

    Set the "Put the computer to sleep when it is inactive for" .. at Never
    Set display sleep slider at whatever time you wish ....
    Then Check "Put the hard disk to sleep when possible". These settings sleep everything but the cpu ...

    4. If by chance you ever run into serious problems with your computer ... this app can save your life ... Disk Warrior
    http://www.alsoftinc.com/DiskWarrior/index.html

    5. See these links for troubleshooting
    and for other useful info ....
    http://www.thexlab.com

    Where to Learn about OS X
    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/learning.html

    6. A lot of your questions will be answered in "Mac Help", under the Help menu at the top of your screen.
    Each application you open also has a Help Menu

    7. I would completely Stay away from third party system enhancers ("haxies"). These are apps that change the function or look of the basic operating system. You are asking for trouble if you install them as they are the ones that cause all the headaches on system updates. Keep your machine lean and mean and Apple will never let you down ... unlike the third party developers. Don't add any extra fonts unless you have to. If you have to get a decent font manager program ....

    8. Install new applications in the Macintosh HD/Applications Folder and put an alias of the application on the desktop or in the dock. Don't move or rename folders in your Macintosh HD.

    9. For complete peace of mind buy Applecare before your first year of ownership runs out. It will pay for itself with one service issue .. plus the phone support is excellent as well ...
    This is especially important for laptop owners ...

    10. Backup your important info ...
    The easiest way is to completely clone your system to an external firewire drive using something like ..

    SuperDuper
    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/13803

    or ...

    Carbon Copy Cloner
    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/7032

    Disclaimer .... all of the above is just my opinion based on my experiences.

    Happy Computing!
     
  5. timmac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Hattiesburg, MS
    #5
    Hi! I switched on March 15 of this year. There's little to worry about. The only thing that disappointed me is that there is no driver for my scanner, which is an older HP model. (There are third-party drivers for many scanners out there if the manufacturer doesn't support them, but mine isn't one of them).

    As far as the heat . . . I live in Mississippi. We've already had days over 100 degrees. I leave my Intel iMac on 24/7 (with the screen sleeping after 30 minutes). I haven't even heard the fan come on my iMac yet.

    Oh yeah, get the Switching to the Mac Missing Manual recommended above. I read that beforehand, and I think it made my switch much more comfortable.
     
  6. iEugene thread starter macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #6
    Thanks for the great advice guys, now I just have one week to wait!
     
  7. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #7
    Congratulations, and relax. After a day or two you'll wonder why it took you so long to take the plunge.

    As well as the apps mentioned above. I also highly recommend Compost for managing your trash. I never much cared for the lack of management options on Trash compared to Windows, but Compost fixes that.
     
  8. UKnjb macrumors 6502a

    UKnjb

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Hi and welcome.

    You'll so enjoy your Mac experience. :)

    One more app that i would suggest (credit to IJReilly of MR) is Applejack, a freebie 'keep your Mac OS clean and repaired' (much like System Mechanic or whatever app that you might have on your Windows machine). Run it regularly and ---- life will be sweet.

    And another tip. After installing each new app, run Applejack to repair disk permissions.

    Have fun!
     
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #9
    iMac has evolved into a very solid buy, sure a real videocard is nice but its got everything. Good choice, if they had made this 11/2 yrs ago i would have bought one.
     
  10. iEugene thread starter macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #10
    Once again, thanks guys! Wow, this forum has some seriously friendly and helpful folks.

    I am ordering my iMac next Friday (pay day) and I've only ordered two things from the Apple online store (black iPod 5G, Apple Keyboard) and they came really quickly.

    I have one last question if you all wouldn't mind answering.

    Now the task of getting my PC files to the Mac I know isn't too tidious (I believe) and I've read the numerous ways that Apple.com says to be able to transfer files. I plan to back up my files onto regular CD-R discs and just pull the information off to directories (not sure where, could use help with that!). Would I encounter any problems with this?

    The only real file extensions I have are as followed;

    Pictures - jpeg, Bitmap, PNG, GIF.
    Movies - Quicktime (not a problem, obviously), MPEG, Video Clip, WMP, Real Player

    My music is basically all iTunes already (I know I will have to reload all the music in proper order before installing and plugging my iPod in, I know it'll be deleted if nothing is in iTunes, so I'm all ready for that). So that shouldn't be a problem. But where should I drag these files? Or should I just make new directories?

    As you could probably tell (anyone who read that) I use my computer as my media and internet, pretty much. Another reason Mac users have told me that the Mac is perfect (and generally exceeds) in.

    Thanks folks!
     
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    When you get your Mac you'll realize that threads like this aren't too necessary. The Mac is pretty self-explanatory. I anticipate you will be quite comfortable with it within a day or two of having it.
     
  12. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #12
    There's something I think might work very easily to get your music from your iPod to iTunes on your Mac. It's a third party app called PodUtility. You can use it to back up your iPod, or to put the contents of your iPod into iTunes. I seem to remember that it lets you keep the structure you have on your iPod.

    It used to be free, now it costs a bit, but it's worth it.

    I've read about another app, iPodRip, that does the same and that you can try for free, but I've never used it.
     
  13. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #13
    If you do encounter any problems go to the Apple.com discussions page. You will find help in no time. Thats one of the best things about the Mac community, we actually help each other instead of writing viruses for each other. :)
     
  14. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #14
    As far as I remember you will not need to create directories. Just import your music files into iTunes, and your images into iPhoto, straight from your CD-R's. iTunes and iPhoto will import them into their own file structure.
     
  15. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #15
    Another free app for this that works well is Senuti. It almost acts like an iTunes replacement, with control over playlists, etc., but with the ability to copy songs from the iPod to iTunes. It's a good free option.
     
  16. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #16
    For WMVs, you will need Flip4Mac and obviously Real Player for it's own files.
    All those other files will be fine.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  17. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #17
    There is already a picture folder under your "home" folder that has your username (look at the sidebar in any finder window and the picture folder should be there).

    As per the picture folder, the movie and music folders are also there. Drag your movie files to the movie folder and music files to the following folder inside the music folder:

    Your home folder-->Music-->iTunes-->iTunes Music (and then from within iTunes go at Add To Library and then choose the iTunes Music Folder and it will create a library of everything in that folder).

    (or you can just try what has already been suggested which is to import them from your CD-Rs into iTunes, which would be easier than my method.)

    Keep in mind that you need to deauthorize your previous computer and authorize your new computer to play your iTunes Music Store songs. If for some reason you can't deauthorize the old one, don't worry about it and just authorize this one. When you get to five computers authorized, you can deauthorize all of them and start over.

    That's about it. File management is so much easier on a Mac that you'll wonder why Windows is so complicated.
     
  18. iEugene thread starter macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #18
    Oh wow, I totally forgot about that, thanks!
     
  19. robert-a-hudson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    Britain
    #19
    how does one go about deauthorizing the computers when one doesn't have access to them anymore (e.g. when your damn pc fails, you have to reinstall, loosing a lisence)?

    I didn't think it was possible to deauthorise a computer once you no longer have access to it - i would love to be wrong!
     
  20. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #20

    You don't. You just keep authorizing new computers until you get up to five, then when you get another computer beyond that, you deauthorize all five computers at once (the fourth question down on this page):

    http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/musicstore/authorization/
     
  21. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #21
    I will recomend Senuti as well. I tried iPodrip first, but I had some problems with it. Senuti is far "smoother" an application.
    You will love your iMac, I just got one and it´s an awesome machine.
    Good luck
     
  22. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    AU
    #22
    I agree with one of the earlier posters ... let iPhoto and iTunes import your stuff from CD, rather than copying to Music and Pictures folders.
     
  23. robert-a-hudson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Location:
    Britain
    #23

    Awesome!

    Thats great news!

    I was getting slightly concerned - i want to beable to listen to my tunes on my mbp (osx and perhaps windows) and my desktop, aswell as the other desktop in my house - having formated my drive once without deauthorising, and with my hard disk on the way out, I was thinking i may be getting a little low on licences!

    Thanks :)
     
  24. iEugene thread starter macrumors regular

    iEugene

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    AZ
    #24
    Thanks again guys. Another question! :p

    I'm planning to back up my files today (bought blank CD's last night). Now a few of you are saying to let iTunes take in my music and to let iPhoto take in photos etc...Well I have a problem there.

    I arrange my music (on Windows) in "My Documents" - "Media" - "Music". From there it goes into all the different bands I listen to (arranged by artist). Now if I burn all of the music as if it a playable music CD, I will be burning well over 100 CD's and I really would prefer not to do that (time, money). Whenever I back up my files (in case of a system crash) for Windows I just burn everything as data discs and then litterally open the CD and drag them to the desktop, from there I sort it into certain folders and ultimatley it all goes back into the same spots (EX - meaning, that all my music for iTunes goes right back to where it was).

    Now, can I do this on the iMac? I don't see why I couldn't. I mean it's a nice feature that iTunes will import my music directly. But it doesn't do it if it's a data disc, and I can cram a lot more as data than I can if it were playable CD's.
     
  25. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #25
    It will be fine if they are only data discs, for both iPhoto and iTunes, all you will have to do is highlight the files, and then drag and drop. Sorted.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     

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